Harish Jharia

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10 July 2011

Rampant Poverty in Bundelkhand, India: No Food to Eat and No Water to Drink for Rural India

New Delhi, India

- Harish Jharia

We boast about the richest Indians who have figured among the world’s wealthiest individuals. There are thousands of people having private choppers and aircrafts. Many have their own helipads on their private lands and some might be having it on their rooftops. 
Indian film stars are as wealthy as those in Hollywood

Most of the Indian cricketers in India are billionaires. India has a huge crowd of page-3 celebrities. All the metros and big cities in India have amusement hubs like night clubs, rave parties and all sorts of pleasure troves for the neo-rich mushrooming in the modern India. 

The world has observed one corruption scam after the other in India like Commonwealth Games scam, hoarding of black money in foreign banks, Telecom scam, and many other cases of embezzlement of the scares people’s money in the tune of millions of billions of rupees.  

We have also observed religious institutions and ashrams having treasure-troves of tons of gold, silver, jewels and countless cash to the tune of billions of billions of rupees. 

  2011 Picture of Poverty in Bundelkhand, India

We Indians are used to praise ourselves with one excuse or the other. We call ourselves the global teacher (Jagadguru) and our country as the golden bird (Sone ki Chidiya). We keep dazzled with the wealth and grandeur that we see all around ourselves, deliberately ignoring our own middle or lower middle class condition that we belong to. We keep our eyes closed and avoid looking at the rampant poverty spread in the downtowns and slums in our neighborhoods. 

Poverty is the real identity of India, because, 80% of Indians are living in poverty. Government statistics might be showing something different on their papers, but the reality is just opposite to it. The recent reports of starvation and thirst in the Bundelkhand area of Uttar Pradesh, India have opened the eyes of the Indian masses. People of Bundelkhand have resorted to eat food made out of grass and grass seeds.  

Kakahandi area of Orissa, India is well known all over the world for the starvation deaths and people resorting to consuming rodents and stray animals for filling their starving bellies. People of the rural India in all the states of India are living as bad lives as that described about Kakahandi and Bundelkhand. 

The union Government of India and the governments of the respective states use to launch many schemes for the upliftment of the rural poor. But the money and food meant for the village people are eaten away by the politicians, civil servants and the village heads. Resultantly, the starving rural India keeps waiting for the food and money throughout their lives and eventually, dies without food and water. 

The media, including the electronic media and print media tactfully ignore the majority population of rural India and cover only the sensational news items that enhance their TRP and readership.  Politicians and civil servants never visit these areas and rule the country from their air-conditioned offices in the capitals situated in metro cities.

It is hard to understand as to how the Indian republic really deserves a permanent seat in the Security Council of the United Nations. If we are serious about being elected for the coveted slot in the UN, then, we will have to wash away the black blots of corruption from our face, eradicate poverty and uproot social discrimination prevalent in the name of lower-casts in India.         


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